Oh my goodness. I have been holed up for the last few days with what my doctor diagnosed as being bronchitis. I like to say "I got the bronchitis" as an homage to Sweet Brown, and as she stated, ain't nobody got time for that. Who has time to be sick? Sure, it means I get to laze about and sleep during the day without anyone likening me to a sloth but the incessant coughing is not cool. Sick days mess up my gym schedule and they certainly are not conducive to being a social creature.
Fortunately, the bronchitis had not yet clamped its grip around me on the weekend which meant I was able to enjoy one of my favoured past times on Saturday, that being the partaking of high tea. Even better when it's for a special occasion, and in this case, a friend's birthday.
Tea that afternoon was being poured at The Sassy Cookie in Victoria Park. This was my second time there to have high tea. They also serve lunch meals but I've not had the pleasure of enjoying one of their lunches.
Set on the corner along Duncan Street behind a beautiful wall of orange honeysuckle (I think) flowers you'll find the charming and quaint tea rooms of The Sassy Cookie. Welcomed by the owner Sue (great name there), she takes our tea order and brings out the first course. The courses are served sequentially as they are ready to come out, unlike other high teas where everything is brought out in one hit on the tiered stands. The teas come from the T Bar range and plunger coffee is also offered if you prefer. The best thing is that the price includes two pots of tea, so you can enjoy two varieties of tea if you wish.
We started with finger sandwiches, two varieties. One was filled with smoked salmon and caper aoili on one layer and the second layer had creamy egg and dill. The second sandwich was chicken with walnuts, spinach and a sweet onion jam spread onto herbed butter. Both sandwiches were very good but I liked the salmon and egg combination the best. They had been made fresh as the bread did not have the tell tale dryness of stale bread or sandwiches that have been left out. The serving allows for one finger sandwich of each filling. Being a fan of the savouries when it comes to high tea I would have liked another finger each. I find without an adequate amount of savoury it can be difficult to get through all the sweet components. There's only so much sugar my body can handle.
The baked savouries that followed were a mini Cornish pastry, a filo pastry money bag filled with mushroom and pate (yum yum!) and a Parmesan cheese round topped with a blend of beetroot, cashew and feta cheese.
Onto the sweets. Here we go. By now I had finished my first pot of chai and had requested my second pot, this time a Ceylon orange pekoe. First up were the scones. You've just gotta have scones with tea. Soft, well baked and a nice smaller size (a good thing when there's much to be eaten), they are not your run of the mill scones. One is baked with cranberries and served with a rose petal butter and cranberry Cointreau conserve and the other is a date, orange and walnut scone that is accompanied with orange blossom butter and an apricot and macadamia conserve. There is an ample amount of Chantilly cream to top both of your scones with.
After the remnants of the scones are whisked away, we are served a palate cleansing mango sorbert in cute mini champagne saucers. It's a nice touch and was not part of the high tea the first time I went to The Sassy Cookie. The climax of the sweet course is reached with the next serving; a plate of individual apricot cheesecakes set in chocolate tulip cups, mini lemon meringue pies and Toblerone mousse cups garnished with chilli chocolate popcorn. The little cheesecake cups reminded me of that scene in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory when Mr Wonka sits down in his garden, sips from a tea cup and then promptly takes a bite out of it. That's exactly how I felt eating from this chocolate tulip cup, which I do think is made from a good chocolate as it does not have any of that nasty taste that comes from using cheap compound chocolate. The filling of the lemon meringue pie is sweet enough and also tart enough - a good balance is struck between both. What I loved what the Toblerone mousse. The mousse is so light and fluffy, not overly rich in chocolate flavour as some chocolate mousses can be and it was very easy to eat, which was a good thing given it came at the end of the tea sitting. The pocorn is an interesting addition but I could not taste any chilli.
To finish up are small macarons and chai infused chocolate truffles. Everyone is also given a cute little teapot shaped cookie to take home. The high tea service at The Sassy Cookie leans more toward the traditional, with just a slight twist. Some of the sweet offerings seem to be new additions, such as the cheesecake and mousse and they definitely put a little 'fancy' touch to the high tea, I guess this is where the sassy kicks in. In saying that, what I like about The Sassy Cookie is that it's not pretentious or fussy. It delivers delicious treats that are fresh and home made. With your two pots of tea, it all goes down well.